Monday, September 28, 2009

Church before Culture - Brannon Howse

Below is an article from Brannon Howse that explains a new book, "Already Gone" by Ken Ham. The basis of the book, is that many of children are not walking away from the faith in college, but in reality have left the faith or checked out during adolescence - they are indeed already gone! Ham's book could not have come at a better time. He does a great job in sounding the warning bell for the churches within America. The question is - will anybody listen and try to bend the trend?

That question brings me to my next thought . . . does the modern church of today even know what is going on? I was once a part of an "Evangelical" mega-church. It was great . . . I could grab a latte at the church coffee shop, buy the latest "cutting edge" book on how to be a christian, listen to the worship concert (to get you in the mood), open service with the most current NOOMA clip (that really tugged on the emotional heartstrings), and then proceed to get 22 minutes of self help from a "pastor" who was aided by 5 different versions of scripture.

The only thing missing was the true gospel message of Jesus Christ. Now, to be fair, we would get half the gospel message - the warm, fuzzy, loving half - BUT, the part about sin, judgement, and wrath were left out (those topics tended to offend and hurt numbers - which would effect the latest building campaign - which was necessary to spread the above mentioned "gospel message"). And, from what I have come to discover - half a gospel equals no gospel at all . . . just like half a christian equals no christian at all (see REVEAL STUDY at Question? - should that suprise anyone? The truth of sin and the depravity of man didn't fit in nicely with the latest Purpose Driven or Externally Focused church movement. In its haste to be relevant, the modern church of today has been lead astray. It brings to mind the words of II Timothy 4:3,4 - "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."

- Gutcheck Ministries

My friend and Worldview Weekend speaker Ken Ham has written an excellent book with Britt Beemer and Todd Hillard entitled, Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it. Ham worked with a professional pollster to survey those who went to church every week or nearly every week and they deliberately polled conservative congregations, not liberal ones. Let me share some highlights from their book that confirm that the church needs to be reclaimed before we even attempt to reclaim the culture.

· A mass exodus is underway. Most youth of today will not be coming to church tomorrow. Nationwide polls and denominational reports are showing that the next generation is calling it quits on the traditional church. And it's not just happening on the nominal fringe; it's happening at the core of the faith.

· Only 11 percent of those who have left the Church did so during the college years. Almost 90 percent of them were lost in middle school and high school. By the time they got to college they were already gone! About 40 percent are leaving the Church during elementary and middle school years!

· If you look around in your church today, two-thirds of those who are sitting among us have already left in their hearts; it will only take a couple years before their bodies are absent as well.

· The numbers indicate that Sunday school actually didn't do anything to help them develop a Christian worldview...The brutal conclusion is that, on the whole, the Sunday school programs of today are statistical failures. · Part of the concern is that the mere existence of youth ministry and Sunday school allows parents to shrug off their responsibility as the primary teachers, mentors, and pastors to their family.[1][1]

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